Security First (Hardcover)

For a Muscular, Moral Foreign Policy

By Amitai Etzioni

Yale University Press, 9780300108576, 336pp.

Publication Date: July 5, 2007

List Price: 30.00*
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“Rarely have more profound changes in American foreign policy been called for than today,” begins Amitai Etzioni in the preface to this book. Yet Etzioni’s concern is not to lay blame for past mistakes but to address the future: What can now be done to improve U.S. relations with the rest of the world?
What should American policies be toward recently liberated countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan, or rogue states like North Korea and Iran? When should the United States undertake humanitarian intervention abroad? What must be done to protect America from nuclear terrorism? The author asserts that providing basic security must be the first priority in all foreign policy considerations, even ahead of efforts to democratize. He sets out essential guidelines for a foreign policy that makes sense in the real world, builds on moral principles, and creates the possibility of establishing positive relationships with Muslim nations and all others.
Etzioni has considered the issues deeply and for many years. His conclusions fall into no neat categories—neither “liberal” nor “conservative”—for he is guided not by ideology but by empirical evidence and moral deliberation. His proposal rings with the sound of reason, and this important book belongs on the reading list of every concerned leader, policy maker, and voter in America.

About the Author

<strong>Amitai Etzioni</strong> is a Professor of International Relations at the George Washington University. Among his books are From Empire to Community, Political Unification Revisited, Winning Without War, and The Common Good. He served as a Senior Aid to the White House and as President of the American Sociological Association. He taught at Columbia, Harvard, and Berkeley. He was listed as one of the top 100 American intellectuals in Richard Posner’s book Public Intellectuals.

Praise For Security First: For a Muscular, Moral Foreign Policy

"Etzioni's argument is a breath of fresh air in the current debate. Compared to most of his colleagues on the left, he is both more hard-headed about security and more understanding of the critical role of religion and moral culture in maintaining social order without violence. This book is a must read."—Henry Nau, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University

— Henry Nau

"Etzioni offers a far ranging alternative perspective for the formulation and conduct of U.S. foreign policy. Security First offers to be an outstanding and important work."—James J. Wirtz, Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School

— James J. Wirtz

"After foreign policy disasters from Rwanda to 9-11 to the Iraq War, alternatives to realist, liberal, and neoconservative shibboleths are desperately needed. Learned but accessible, sweeping yet detailed, Security First offers a distinctive approach that can help America forge a new path."—Clifford Bob, author of The Marketing of Rebellion: Insurgents, Media, and International Activism, Winner of the 2007 International Studies Best Book Award

— Clifford Bob

"An important, must-read book for the rising leadership in the United States, as it prepares for the crucial 2008 elections, a time for a change from the status quo, and for America’s friends around the world."—Shuja Nawaz, former Division Chief, International Monetary Fund, former Director, International Atomic Energy Agency, and author of Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the War Within

— Shuja Nawaz

"An excellent book. . . . Security First argues that the U.S. should give first priority to exporting security, not democracy. A smart, ethical rejoinder to the neocons."—Jonathan Rauch, writer-in-residence at The Brookings Institution and correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly

— Jonathan Rauch

"Etzioni's new book is . . . enjoyable (because it is well written), but also frustrating reading (because it convincingly shows how wrong some widely held assumptions are) for all those interested in most crucial issues of world affairs."—Rein Mullerson, International History Review

— Rein Mullerson